Colchester Magistrates Court heard how on 26 March 2016, Romas Ciurlionis trapped his thumb in a moving shackle shortly after being shown how to remove chicken intestines at the 2 Sisters Flixton site in Norfolk.
His thumb was severed when he was pulled away from the machine’s emergency stop cord and moved past a fixed gate.
In the second incident, on 23 August 2016, worker Darren Hamilton entered an area of the factory that should have had the power isolated before cleaning activities commenced.
Finger was severed
The safe system of work was not being followed and the shackle line was still running when his finger became trapped. Unable to reach the emergency stop, Hamilton’s finger was severed.
Investigations by the Health and Safety executive (HSE) found that 2 Sisters had failed to ensure that measures were in place to mitigate the consequences of a worker becoming entrapped in a shackle in the first instance.
The organisation’s investigation into the second incident found the poultry processor had failed to ensure safe isolation procedures.
2 Sisters Food Group Ltd of Grange Road, Flixton, Bungay pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Works Equipment Regulations 1998 in relation to the first incident and was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,031.83.
In respect of the second incident, the manufacturer pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety At Work Act 1974 and was fined £74,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,386.52.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Saffron Turnell said: “These incidents could so easily have been avoided had appropriate controls been in place.
“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”